First sight of the arctic wasteland through the clouds
Longyearbyen Main St., as seen from the SAS Radisson hotel.
The kebab-truck made famous in the NRK documentary "Varmt hjerte - frossen kebab" ("Warm heart - frozen kebab"). After being denied political asylum in mainland Norway, Kazem Ariaiwand fled to Svalbard, where immigration laws do not apply.
Looking west from the B2 (north east) part of Longyearbyen. The large structure to the right is UNIS, where the University and museum are located.
All these homes are company owned, and rented - almost no one owns their own home on Svalbard, but there are a few exceptions.
The north eastern edge of civilization.
Where snowmobiles go to sleep. Looking east into the Advent valley.
Looking down upon Longyearbyen from the coal magazine of Mine 1a, which was abandoned in 1920, after an explosion killed 26 miners. The slope is steep, close to 30 degrees, and basically loose gravel and rocks - very tough going!
Nature is ever so slowly reclaiming the area around the abandoned mine. In 1958 the entrance to the mine was demolished.
Yes, it's really steep!
The abandoned coal magazine seen from above. Longyearbyen and Adventfjorden below.
Looking up towards Platåfjellet. The ascent looked quite manageable, but one is acutely aware of just how lonely and exposed one is. The fact that a polar bear killed a student up on the plateau in 2005 made it an easy choce not to continue the ascent!
Continuing south along the hillside. The Longyear valley below. Longyearbyen school the gray building down in the valley, the abandoned Mine 2b in the hillside across the valley and Sverdrupbyen the small hamlet to the right. It was very steep and quite hard at times to find steady footing.
Cloudberry flowers (Rubus chamaemorus) are numerous in the hillside. The harsh climate means they never produce fruit, however.
I was now getting very high up into the hillside, as the loose gravel of the hillside was forever forcing me to move up where the ground was firmer. The wind was blowing quite hard, and the feeling of being very exposed became quite overpowering as I started coming upon large amounts of white hair, reminiscent of polar bear fur. I later learned it was the winter coat of polar foxes - not quite as scary. :)
A close up of the abandoned Mine 2b, also known as "The Santa Mine".
Trestles from the ropeway that was used to transport coal from the mine (1b) to the quay.
More trestles. The Advent fjord and Longyearbyen in the background.
While making my way down towards the valley, I suddenly became aware of this little fellow, observing me. The wildlife in Spitzbergen, even close to civilization, is remarkably unafraid of humans.
The graves of the 26 miners killed in the 1920 explosion, and soldiers killed in the 1943 fighting.
The view from the hotel restaurant.
"Taubanesentralen", where the ropeways from the different mines around Longyearbyen merged into a single ropeway down to the quay.
The ropeway to the quay. In the background can be seen the coal storage at the quay, the airport and the yacht harbour.